READING the NEWS
SFGate.com is an online edition of leading local newspaper, SF Chronicle.
SFGate.com has struggled to stay relevant for local Bay Area audiences and advertisers and we were asked to redesign the site to increase site traffic and engagement.
Tools: Sketch, Invision
2 week class project completed with 2 other team members at General Assembly, SF
We started off by conducting 61 survey responses and 12 in-person interviews to discover pain points of using sfgate.com as well as other news sites.
Most users only land on news articles through social platforms. Users consumed news in short but frequent spurts throughout the day. Users are allergic to clutter and can’t find relevant articles quickly.
DEFINING USER NEEDS
Based on the results from the surveys, our target audience is someone like Sarah Yang. She’s tech savvy and uses social platforms to stay informed about her favorite topics. She wants to be able to find articles within her interests in one place without dealing with clutter and disorganization.
To address the clutter on SF Gate, the site layout was simplified to one column of content. To indicate what’s trending, there’s a social stream attached to each article. Users are able to select categories of interest so that their content stream is curated.
We sketched wireframes to include essential or low-effort features.
It was difficult to define the curation feature because the user experience involved solving for visibility, accessibility, and ease of use.
We tested our design through user testing - during which we paid special attention to how participants reacted to the curation option and site layout.